LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – Instead of a formal, in-person event this year, attendees can take part in the 2020 USA Cares Gala from home.
“With COVID-19 continuing to impact people and countries around the world, we’ve had to make a few changes to our biggest night of the year,” said Heather Moses, Development Director at USA Cares.
Instead, USA Cares will stream its 2020 Virtual Gala on YouTube and Facebook live on Thursday, Oct. 15 at 7 P.M. The online event will celebrate USA Cares’ 17 years of service to our heroes, honor veterans and military families, and raise funds to support those struggling from the adverse effects of service.
“Doing our annual Gala in a virtual format is certainly a first for us. However, we’re excited that by broadcasting this year’s Gala on YouTube and Facebook, one of Louisville’s most unique and patriotic events of the year will now be accessible to more guests than ever before,” said Moses.
Organizers hope more people will take part in the gala this year. Due to the pandemic, Aubrey Gonzalez, Communications Manager for USA Cares says, the current unmet needs of military men and women have grown substantially.
“Since March, we have experienced a significantly higher volume of requests for emergency aid, most of which were triggered by COVID-19. Veterans who suffer from PTSD, traumatic brain injury, depression, and anxiety are at higher risk of veteran suicide, and we have been working relentlessly to provide relief to our heroes and their children during this challenging time,” explained Gonzalez.
Despite the change in format, the annual tradition of paying tribute to veterans, service members, and their families while raising funds to support to them in their hour of need remains the same. There’s also a few extra perks for attendees this year.
Guests who pre-register online HERE will receive a virtual swag bag full of freebies, coupons, and other content on the day of the Gala.
Tickets to this year’s Gala are free and participants can attend the online event regardless of location.
Guests will have an opportunity to bid on various items and luxury experiences in live and silent auctions, enter raffles to win several prized bourbons, and more. Additionally, the program will feature a live “bidding for good” virtual paddle raise, where guests are encouraged to make a life-changing donation to support military families, all from their computers or mobile devices.
All proceeds will support USA Cares’ mission to provide post-9/11 military veterans, service members, and their families with emergency financial assistance and post-service skills training. USA Cares’ services improve veterans and their families’ quality of life and reduce potential factors that can contribute to veteran suicide.
You can read more about USA Cares HERE.